Smartphones and tablets are changing pretty much everything – from how we communicate to the way we shop. Just think how Uber and smartphones have revolutionized the taxi business, or how GPS apps such as Waze means drivers are no longer glued to their AM radio to listen for traffic updates. Digital payment solutions like PayPal, Venmo, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay make it easy to pay for your dinner dates. The amazing thing is that we are at the beginning of a lifestyle revolution, which will only accelerate as mobile technology evolves.
Most people recognize that technology is changing the way we shop, but they might not grasp how mobile devices are hastening these changes. Online purchasing, or ecommerce, is only 10% of total retail sales, but it is growing at four to five times the rate of brick-and-mortar sales. At the same time, more and more shoppers are using their smartphones for purchasing (mcommerce).
Did you know that of the $2.3 trillion ecommerce sales in 2017, the mobile share stood at 58.9%, or $1.4 trillion. Mcommerce is expected to double by 2021. It could rake in some $3.5 trillion and account for three quarters (72.9%) of ecommerce sales by then. Even when they are not used for purchasing, mobile devices help with other shopping activities such as getting directions, comparing prices, or reading product reviews.
Mobile shopping has become ubiquitous, and from a consumer perspective, the most appealing. Some of its key benefits include convenience, personalization, and persistence.
For many, myself included, the convenience of being able to shop from anywhere at anytime is the greatest perk of all. Rather than waiting in long, dreadful checkout lines, or having to find an employee to help you track down what you are looking for, you can shop from the comfort of your own home, in a cab or on a bus. Mobile shopping helps you find what you want with a few taps from anywhere, at anytime — making retail therapy truly therapeutic.
No more racing to the store before it closes, seeing product availability in real-time as well as browsing and checking out within minutes makes the mobile shopping experience almost addictive. And what’s better than being able to shop the latest international trends online without being restricted to your geographic region, and having your purchases shipped right to your door step within just a few days?
And how could I forget price matching. Having the ability to open another browser on your mobile device and compare prices between retailers. Never again will you have to worry about missing out on the best deal around.
Thirty years ago there was no such thing as online shopping. Most purchases were made in-store and a small percentage of people shopped via catalog. Then in 1994, the idea of shopping online and making a purchase through a personal computer started to gain popularity. Nowadays, mobile shopping is making life even simpler for consumers. Shopping behaviour has changed, and shoppers are beginning to ignore the distinction between online and in-store. They want a shopping experience best suited for them on an item-by-item basis.
For example, 88% of shoppers “webroom.” They research items online before visiting the physical store to make a purchase. Mcommerce makes it easy for customers to search up product reviews and compare prices and products. On the other hand, 76% of shoppers will “showroom.” This is the opposite, where shoppers will first visit the store to touch, fell and try on a product before purchasing it online. With so many options available, many consumers vary how they shop from purchase to purchase.
No matter where or how they shop or buy, consumers want the same experience. They want access to the same inventory at the same price within a similar timeframe. Retailers are capitalizing on this trend by creating a seamless shopping experience, integrating in-store, online, mobile and social into one. This is the omnichannel — a channel-agnostic approach where the customer gets the same experience no matter how or where they make a purchase.
Harvard Business Review reported that of 46,000 surveyed shoppers, 73% shopped on different channels while 7% shopped online-only, and 20% shopped in-store-only. Omnichannel shoppers spend an average of 4% more in the store and 10% more online than single-channel shoppers. These results indicate retailer’s omnichannel customers add a recognizable amount of value to multiple accounts.
The future of ecommerce and mcommerce is bright. But no one is predicting the death of brick-and-mortar retail anytime soon. Consumers demand the flexibility of the omnichannel. Retailers are reacting to these changing shopping trends by building up their omnichannel and adopting new technology and solutions to improve the customer experience — rugged handheld scanners for logistics, RFID readers in warehouses, smartphones, tablets and ELDs in trucks as well as mPOS in the hands of Connected Associates.
The more technology and solutions that get deployed, the more dependant the retailer becomes on it for the success of their business. This is where SOTI ONE can help. It can reduce the cost, complexity and downtime of business-critical mobility. Start with SOTI MobiControl for mobile device management and security. Add SOTI Assist, the world’s first mobile and IoT optimized help desk solution. And then simplify the development of LOB mobile apps using SOTI Snap. SOTI can help you grow your omnichannel and at the same time increase the security and control of your technology deployments. SOTI helps you convert shopping into shipping.